A 13-year-old boy who was obsessed over the bloody murders that inspired the global thriller, The Amityville Horror, re-enacted his version of the bloody killings by taking the lives of his entire family. The boy shot each in the head, then went to school as if nothing had happened. But when he returned home, he put the gun to his own head and killed himself.
The tale is reminiscent of the story that unfolded on a chilly November night in 1974 when shots rang out in a house in the tranquil community of Amityville, Long Island. Ron DeFeo shot his mother and father and four siblings as they slept. He pleaded an insanity defense but the jury didn’t buy it. They sentenced him to life in prison.
A year after the murders, the Lutz family bought the house, but fled in terror weeks later, claiming strange happenings that suggested the house was possessed by demons. The murders and their tale spawned a cottage industry that began with publication of the book and then the film, “The Amityville Horror.” I spent a night in the house with my producer, Lorraine and Ed Warren, religious demonologists who are the focus of this summer’s blockbuster movie, “The Conjuring.” I sat through a couple of seances and failed to experience anything unusual to suggest the house was haunted.
A prosecutor at the time told me the only thing haunted in that house was Ron DeFeo. Sadly a young boy’s fantasy and obsession with the murders led him to commit a crime as horrific as the one in Amityville almost 40 years ago.